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I Need Answers


Guest seektruth
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Guest seektruth

Hi,

 

I'm brand new here and I am actually very relieved that I found this website!

 

I'm Kimberly, 20 years old.. and I have been deployed to Afghanistan for about 10 months now. I became a

Christian about a year ago, right before we deployed.. I didn't take much time to learn about it before

I made the decision, it seemed so right at the time. After I made the decision, I got baptized.. I

pretty much dove into it. It sounded great but I knew I needed to learn more. If I am going to believe in something,

I am the type that needs to know why I believe and not just because someone told me to.

 

I started reading the heck out of the bible.. I have actually read most of it by now. There are only a couple

books that I haven't read.. I prayed alot (not without ceasing but quite a few times a day.. as much as I could)

 

In March, my best friend was killed.. and I have to be fair. I did find comfort in Christianity through that

time, as far as just praying.. I had never lost anyone before and it was a really hard time.

 

Well, I continued to learn more about Christianity.. and from what I had heard, the

more you learn.. the closer to God you will be. Well, it's working out the opposite for

me.. It seems shady.. I don't know if that's the right word.. but I think y'all know

what I mean otherwise you wouldn't be here.

 

I have sooo many questions about it, and I asked the chaplain out here and he's like

"ooh well read the bible.. or just have faith"... are you kidding me??

 

For one thing, the bible has given me even more questions and I don't even think it's true..

and for another thing.. have faith..??? I can't just flip a switch and have faith. I

need answers.

 

That is another thing about the chaplain. He can cuss around people, say stuff that is inappropriate,

jokes, etc.. and then get up there on Sunday and preach. He wonders why I stopped going to church..??

 

Christianity.. you trust in God and love him, deal with all these trials and temptations

to win a "prize".. It sounds like the reality show "Survivor" to me.. and I don't like

games..

 

If God is so loving and caring, why am I going through all this crap for him (trials and

temptations reguarding my faith when I am at work, from the other guys) and I was (not anymore)

reading my bible and praying every day.. and feeling nothing??

 

I have been told that he "backs off" so your faith can grow.. seriously??

 

God is so loving that he throws us to the wolves..? If he wants people

to be Christians so much, WHY does he make it sooo hard?? Why does it seem like

he pushes people away? It seems like he has his "chosen people" or

whatever.. those people that are all high and mighty in their faith

but he's like "screw you" to others.. ? It makes no sense.

 

Sorry, I'm ranting.. anyway..lol nice to meet y'all

and it's going to be cool to meet people in the same

situation as me

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Welcome to the site, Kim.

 

 

You've touched on a number of key difficulties facing many people who wrestle with the whole religion and faith thing.

 

On this site we can explore these concerns, but for the moment I recommend looking over some of the threads in the various forums which you will likely find interesting.

 

 

Oh, and based upon where you are, keep safe.

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Kimberly first let me wish you safe passage through your tour of duty.

 

I am full of questions too, so many questions. The pursuit of answers eventually led me out of Christianity. But in all honesty, even as an ex-Christian I still have many unanswered questions about life.

 

I read an author once who said, “At the core of each of us is a paradox. The paradox takes the form of a question. The question becomes the journey that defines our lives.”

 

We are on a journey Kimberly. Like us, you may eventually travel outside of Christianity, but then maybe you won’t. But we are here to share the trails with you for a while if you want.

 

Welcome to ex-C.

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Kimberly, welcome to the forum. I will also add my wishes for a safe continuation of your tour - hubby and I both did rather longish stints in the military, but out now, so I can understand at least a little bit of what it's like.

 

Your questions are suprisingly common - the conclusions or answers you come to may determine whether you join the ranks of us ex christians or if you will strengthen the faith you have. For me, many of those questions began to shake my foundation, but the true destruction came from other areas (philosophical and character of god such things). Many christians and many ex christians go through those questions, some find the pat christian answers to be satisfying - many of us do not. That will be your decision, none of us can make it for you. Of course, personally I prefer to see someone look past the christian bull, but I'm not out to destroy anyone's faith if they still want it. If they're looking for answers, I'm willing to share my opinion!

 

Since you said you're looking for answers, well, my opinion basically boils down to that if there is a supernatural being, it sure doesn't care about our daily lives as individuals, heck, it probably doesn't even know we exist. There also very well may no such being. For a lot of your questions, that simple conclusion takes care of a lot of them. I actually came to the conclusion that god was pretty hands off while I was still claiming to be a christian - I just saw no evidence to the contrary despite some people's insistance otherwise.

 

Good luck in your journey, it's not always easy, but can be exciting!

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Hi Kimberly,

 

People turn to religion for lots of reasons, but mainly to have something to hold onto, even when everything else turns to crap. "There are no atheists in foxholes," has some truth to it. If you think about it, though, that trite phrase implies that religious beliefs are situational. There are no real answers in that bible the chaplain is urging you to read - only situations and human points of view in the guise of having been "inspired" by someone's idea of God.

 

What it sounds like you are doing is seeking answers to life's great questions: Who am I? How did I get here? What is the point? Is there a God? Etc. Etc. If you go away from this website having none of these questions answered, take this one thought with you:

 

It's OK not to have any of these answers.

 

Not being able to answer life's questions with "authority" is not a fatal condition. But I would suggest one other idea for you to consider, and that is that informed skepticism is a good thing. Since you've read just about the entire bible, and seem to have "got" it, why not read the Koran next? Start expanding your understanding of the major religions, and the roles they play on the world's stage.

 

Good luck!

 

Rob

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I'll throw my 2 cents in to pot. First, I was in the army in a combat zone many years ago. I didn't believe then either. Be careful with this life. It's the only one you will ever have.

 

The Old testament is just horrible. The god they created is selfish, arbitrary, and just nasty. Much is borrowed from other civilizations around Israel. I think that you'll find that the god described in the Old testament is not the same as the god that people think of when they think of Christianity. Unfortunately, that means that jesus is a fraud who died for nothing.

 

Sorry if that's too blunt for where you are now, but the religion is either true or not. There is no inbetween.

 

Of course, you can discard the whole thing and create your own religion. Deism allows you to think "someone's out there." I personally consider that pointless. Pantheism says we are all god - "All is One". I suppose that as long as we act that way, then we will be better off.

 

Some of the Christian teachings, although not truly original, are not bad. The Golden Rule is an ancient formula for humanistic interaction. Some sound nice, but are impractical. "Love your enemy" has never worked in a war zone.

 

So learn about religion, gods, reality, science, and humanity. The journey is really the thing, you know?

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Guest seektruth

Thank you for your responses everyone.

 

I have read alot of the testimonies and they have definitely opened my

eyes and given me alot to think about. Out here, (well, with my

current job at least) we have wayyyy too much time to think

and I know that is why all this is being brought on now and

why I have had time to surround myself with it.

 

plus I have never really been around death before, so it really

made me think about life and death.. and how we can't

live like we are going to live forever and so I do feel

like I was rushing it I guess.. I just wanted to know

the truth so I would be ready if something ever happened

 

That is something that I have learned lately though is

it's okay (and completely normal) to not have

things figured out.. we are never going to have

everything figured out.. and right now I am not

even close lol

 

I'm just going to relax, go with the flow and believe

what I feel to be right.. I don't want to be scared into

a certain belief because of the "possibility of hell"

but I want to be able to be completely open minded

and discover what I feel is right for me.

 

At first, it was the whole idea of Christianity that I loved..

I barely knew anything about it but it was new and it just

seemed so right.. and then learning more I'm like..wait what??..

 

Plus I felt like there was all this stuff I "had" to do..

read your bible, pray all the time, be a witness..

all this stuff.. along with have faith when I felt

like I was going at it blindly..

 

Like what y'all said, it's all apart of the journey..

realizing that.. and just basically choosing to

"go with the flow" and take my time in discovering

whta is right for me.. it makes me feel free..

and soo much better about everything

 

so I'm lost.. and okay with it lol.. we'll see what happens..

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Here's what has helped me get to a place of inner peace about all of this:

 

Religion, in general, is about faith. People believe what they are programmed to believe, whether they grow up in a particular religion, or adopt one later in life - even if they program themselves. No matter how powerfully someone states what he or she believes, no matter how eloquently or powerfully he or she quotes whatever scripture backs up that faith, in the end, it's only about what people believe. Religious faith, by definition, is about being convinced of the existence and nature of a particular supreme being, without any solid evidence of the validity of that viewpoint.

 

That's why you will find people who are just as devout, just as fervent about being Muslims as you will people who are devout Christians, devout Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, etc., etc. Unfortunately, religious faith and reason are often mutually exclusive conditions, and the conflict between them can lead to some very crazy behavior.

 

Becoming free of religious programming is not something you can suddenly decide to be one day, and the next day you're liberated. for one thing, a great deal of that programming is not of the direct, "honest" variety that you get from someone pounding you over the head with a bible. It's insidious. The culture you grew up in is permeated with all sorts of assumptions and presumptions about God, the Universe, and Everything. The Judeo-Christian version of creation and the nature of God and humans is sprinkled over everything, and often you won't even realize it, because it's so pervasive. Ever see a horror movie about the devil? Ever go to a meeting where somebody prays to start it off? Ever play a sport, where the coach asks God to help you kick the other team's butt?

 

The same pervasive cultural and religious programming happens around the world, in every country. The languages, scriptures, rules and explanations may be different, but it all works the same way. It takes dedication and years of hard work to become free of that programming, and to think for yourself. But ask yourself this: Where did all of those religions come from? How could they all be so different, to the point of justifying hatred and even murder of those that don't share those beliefs? What would happen if all of those religious institutions were to suddenly be "deleted" from the face of the earth, and humankind started over with wondering about the universe, and the part human beings play in it?

 

I'm afraid the answer is that we would reinvent them all. We just can't seem to live without answers - even if they are man-made and completely unsubstantiated. But that doesn't mean we as individuals can't be free. It's just a matter of choice.

 

Rob

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Damned fine post, Rob.

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Damned fine post, Rob.

 

Thanks! I really like your quotes, by the way:

 

"Religion isn't the opiate of the masses, it's the placebo of the masses." Dr. House

 

I love that show, but somehow missed this line.

 

"God is an invention of man. So the nature of God is only a shallow mystery. The deep mystery is the nature of Man." --Nanrei Kobori as quoted by Carl Sagan

 

I'm pretty sure that the only way for humankind to progress beyond religious oppression is for the majority of the individuals on the planet to embrace self-examination.

 

Believing in something without evidence takes faith. Not believing in something without evidence takes intelligence.” from unreasonablefaith.com

 

I would say it takes an equal mix of intelligence and courage.

 

Rob

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The fact that you are demanding answers means that you can think critically, and this is good. I hope that you will always search for truth instead of lazily going along with what a leader or preacher says.

 

There may be some good lessons in Christianity and the Bible, but they are not lessons that were unknown before Jesus came about, nor did he always make the best case for them. We should be able to debate these ideas, not worship them as values beyond discussion lest God send us to Hell for defying them.

 

Both the religious and the atheists are trying to help others, but the Christians use a two thousand year old book written by desert tribes, and the atheists use reason, logic, and evidence.

 

I am sorry about your friend, but she affected your life, and in doing so altered it. Therefore she lives on in you, as well as everyone you effect. And now in a small way she lives on in me, even though I don't know her name. I will try to honor her memory, and the memory of all mankind, by leaving people better off then when I found them.

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Excellently said, ShallowByThyGame.

 

Rob

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Welcome. If you seek Truth, you will never find it in Religion. The Bible is a collection of myths and fables written by men, not the word of any god. In fact, there is no evidence that Jesus ever existed at all. The search for truth(Truth?) is a lifelong Quest. Welcome to the journey.

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